For the first time in over two decades, a Division II player has been chosen as the top college football player in Mississippi.
Delta State quarterback Patrick Shegog was named the recipient of the 2023 C Spire Conerly Trophy on Tuesday night. Shegog, in his fifth year in Cleveland, finished the regular season with a program-record 44 total touchdowns. In 12 games, he accounted for 2,618 passing yards and 690 rushing yards while turning the ball over just twice.
“Wow. Y’all bear with me. My heart’s about to beat out of my chest,” Shegog said after accepting the award. “I must say it means the world to me and I appreciate y’all so much. Being a kid from Batesville, Mississippi and to win this award, it’s just crazy.”
“First, I want to thank God for blessing me with the abilities to play the greatest sport in the world and for keeping me healthy. I want to thank my parents for being there for me throughout my entire life…I will forever be grateful. I want to take the time to give a huge shoutout to the best teammates and coaches in the world. The past couple years of my life, they have been the best times and I’ll cherish them for as long as I live.”
Shegog, who led Delta State to back-to-back playoff appearances in 2022 and 2023, was selected as the winner over nine other nominees by a panel of statewide sports media representatives.
The other nominees for the award were:
- Alcorn State QB Aaron Allen
- Belhaven RB Kolbe Blunt
- Jackson State RB Irv Mulligan
- Ole Miss RB Quinshon Judkins (finalist)
- Millsaps P Ethan Klapatch
- Mississippi College RB Marcus Williams
- Mississippi State LB Bookie Watson (finalist)
- Mississippi Valley State OL Rodney Luckett
- Southern Miss RB Frank Gore, Jr.
Shegog is the first Delta State player to win the Conerly Trophy since quarterback Josh Bright did it in 2000 amid the program’s lone national championship run. The only other Statesman to bring home the award was running back Tregnel Thomas in 1996.